The Los Angeles Sparks announced that they have signed Erin Phillips to a contract on Wednesday. Phillips was an unrestricted free agent and was one of the top free agents in the 2015 class.
Phillips played for the Phoenix Mercury in 2014 where she was part of their championship team. While doing so, she played in 33 games, starting 10 of them, averaging 5.8 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before playing for the Mercury, Phillips played for the Connecticut Sun (2006, 2008-09) and Indiana Fever (2011-13) where she won another championship ring in 2012.
What Phillips brings to L.A.
Phillips is an efficient ball handler, but the stat which sticks out for me is her three point shooting. She averaged at least 42% of her three point attempts from 2011 to 2014. In 2014 she made 44.9% of her threes, or 35 of 78 shots.
The Sparks were really lacking in three point shooting for the past couple seasons where Kristi Toliver was their only realistic three point shooting threat in past seasons. Now with Phillips in the lineup will help keep defenses more honest and away from the paint. That allows Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, and Jantel Lavender to be more effective when taking inside shots.
This is a major signing for the Sparks. With Erin Phillips, they now have a guard who plays solid defense and more importantly addresses their weakness, or more accurately, their lack of three point shooting threats. Given that Armintie Herrington and Lindsey Harding were waived, this is a sign that Phillips also came here to find an opportunity to start every game and play for a team that could very well win it all in 2015.